Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Poltroons And Proud Of It

Judy was in a Nashville restaurant. The band wasn't American; she could tell that from their playing style. She toyed with the idea of them being Brits, but decided they had to be Irish because they had the Battle of New Orleans in their repertoire. Would Brits be singing, 

We fired their guns and the British kept a-comin'
There wasn't half as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and then they started runnin'
Down the Mississippi to the gulf of Mexico
. ?

Actually, they might. See, I know the words without looking them up. Why? Because Lonnie Donegan, "The King of Skiffle", had a hit with the song in 1959 (when I was 8). Donegan was London Scottish and a key figure in the development of British rock 'n' roll. When I hear that song I hear a tiny little piece of my heritage. The USA had Elvis, we had Donegan. Donegan was cool. 

We Brits are funny that way. Write a song about how perfidious Albion is and what surrender monkeys we are and- if it's catchy enough- we're quite capable of taking it to our hearts. Is this down to our revolting confidence in ourselves as top nation? Our well-developed sense of irony?  A bit of both, I think.  Anyway, I told Judy not to jump to obvious conclusions.
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